The Emporer Has No Clothes

Discussion in 'Middle East - General' started by metanoia2k, Oct 20, 2003.

  1. metanoia2k
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    metanoia2k Guest

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    In 1837, Danish author, Hans Christian Andersen, wrote
    a wonderful fairy
    tale which he titled The Emperor's New Clothes. It
    may be the very
    first example of the power of political correctness.
    It is the story of
    the Ruler of a distant land who was so enamored of his
    appearance and
    his clothing that he had a different suit for every
    hour of the day.

    One day two rogues arrived in town, claiming to be
    gifted weavers. They
    convinced the Emperor that they could weave the most
    wonderful cloth,
    which had a magical property. The clothes were only
    visible to those
    who were completely pure in heart and spirit.

    The Emperor was impressed and ordered the weavers to
    begin work
    immediately. The rogues, who had a deep understanding
    of human nature,
    began to feign work on empty looms.

    Minister after minister went to view the new clothes
    and all came back
    exhorting the beauty of the cloth on the looms even
    though none of them
    could see a thing.

    Finally a grand procession was planned for the Emperor
    to display his
    new finery. The Emperor went to view his clothes and
    was shocked to see
    absolutely nothing, but he pretended to admire the
    fabulous cloth,
    inspect the clothes with awe, and, after disrobing, go
    through the
    motions of carefully putting on a suit of the new
    garments.

    Under a royal canopy the Emperor appeared to the
    admiring throng of his
    people - - all of whom cheered and clapped because
    they all knew the
    rogue weavers' tale and did not want to be seen as
    less than pure of heart.

    But, the bubble burst when an innocent child loudly
    exclaimed, for the
    whole kingdom to hear, that the Emperor had nothing on
    at all. He had
    no clothes.

    That tale seems to me very like the way this nation
    was led to war.

    We were told that we were threatened by weapons of
    mass destruction in
    Iraq, but they have not been seen.

    We were told that the throngs of Iraqi's would welcome
    our troops with
    flowers, but no throngs or flowers appeared.

    We were led to believe that Saddam Hussein was
    connected to the attack
    on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon, but no evidence
    has ever been produced.

    We were told in 16 words that Saddam Hussein tried to
    buy "yellow cake"
    from Africa for production of nuclear weapons, but the
    story has turned
    into empty air.

    We were frightened with visions of mushroom clouds,
    but they turned out
    to be only vapors of the mind.

    We were told that major combat was over but 101 [as of
    October 17]
    Americans have died in combat since that proclamation
    from the deck of
    an aircraft carrier by our very own Emperor in his new
    clothes.

    Our emperor says that we are not occupiers, yet we
    show no inclination
    to relinquish the country of Iraq to its people.

    Those who have dared to expose the nakedness of the
    Administration's
    policies in Iraq have been subjected to scorn. Those
    who have noticed
    the elephant in the room -- that is, the fact that
    this war was based on
    falsehoods – have had our patriotism questioned.
    Those who have spoken
    aloud the thought shared by hundreds of thousands of
    military families
    across this country, that our troops should return
    quickly and safely
    from the dangers half a world away, have been accused
    of cowardice. We
    have then seen the untruths, the dissembling, the
    fabrication, the
    misleading inferences surrounding this rush to war in
    Iraq wrapped
    quickly in the flag.

    The right to ask questions, debate, and dissent is
    under attack. The
    drums of war are beaten ever louder in an attempt to
    drown out those who
    speak of our predicament in stark terms.

    Even in the Senate, our history and tradition of being
    the world's
    greatest deliberative body is being snubbed. This
    huge spending bill
    has been rushed through this chamber in just one
    month. There were just
    three open hearings by the Senate Appropriations
    Committee on $87
    billion, without a single outside witness called to
    challenge the
    Administration's line.

    Ambassador Bremer went so far as to refuse to return
    to the
    Appropriations Committee to answer additional
    questions because, and I
    quote: "I don't have time. I'm completely booked, and
    I have to get
    back to Baghdad to my duties."

    Despite this callous stiff-arm of the Senate and its
    duties to ask
    questions in order to represent the American people,
    few dared to voice
    their opposition to rushing this bill through these
    halls of Congress.
    Perhaps they were intimidated by the false claims that
    our troops are in
    immediate need of more funds.

    But the time has come for the sheep-like political
    correctness which has
    cowed members of this Senate to come to an end.

    The Emperor has no clothes. This entire adventure in
    Iraq has been
    based on propaganda and manipulation. Eighty-seven
    billion dollars is
    too much to pay for the continuation of a war based on
    falsehoods.

    Taking the nation to war based on misleading rhetoric
    and hyped
    intelligence is a travesty and a tragedy. It is the
    most cynical of all
    cynical acts. It is dangerous to manipulate the
    truth. It is dangerous
    because once having lied, it is difficult to ever be
    believed again.
    Having misled the American people and stampeded them
    to war, this
    Administration must now attempt to sustain a policy
    predicated on
    falsehoods. The President asks for billions from
    those same citizens
    who know that they were misled about the need to go to
    war. We
    misinformed and insulted our friends and allies and
    now this
    Administration is having more than a little trouble
    getting help from
    the international community. It is perilous to mislead.

    The single-minded obsession of this Administration to
    now make sense of
    the chaos in Iraq, and the continuing propaganda which
    emanates from the
    White House painting Iraq as the geographical center
    of terrorism is
    distracting our attention from Afghanistan and the 60
    other countries in
    the world where terrorists hide. It is sapping
    resources which could be
    used to make us safer from terrorists on our own
    shores. The body armor
    for our own citizens still has many, many chinks.
    Have we forgotten
    that the most horrific terror attacks in history
    occurred right here at
    home!! Yet, this Administration turns back money for
    homeland security,
    while the President pours billions into security for
    Iraq. I am
    powerless to understand or explain such a policy.

    I have tried mightily to improve this bill. I twice
    tried to separate
    the reconstruction money in this bill, so that those
    dollars could be
    considered separately from the military spending. I
    offered an
    amendment to force the Administration to craft a plan
    to get other
    nations to assist the troops and formulate a plan to
    get the U.N. in,
    and the U.S. out, of Iraq. Twice I tried to rid the
    bill of expansive,
    flexible authorities that turn this $87 billion into a
    blank check. The
    American people should understand that we provide more
    foreign aid for
    Iraq in this bill, $20.3 billion, than we provide for
    the rest of the
    entire world! I attempted to remove from this bill
    billions in
    wasteful programs and divert those funds to better
    use. But, at every
    turn, my efforts were thwarted by the vapid argument
    that we must all
    support the requests of the Commander in Chief.

    I cannot stand by and continue to watch our
    grandchildren become
    increasingly burdened by the billions that fly out of
    the Treasury for
    a war and a policy based largely on propaganda and
    prevarication. We
    are borrowing $87 billion to finance this adventure in
    Iraq. The
    President is asking this Senate to pay for this war
    with increased debt,
    a debt that will have to be paid by our children and
    by those same
    troops that are currently fighting this war. I cannot
    support
    outlandish tax cuts that plunge our country into
    potentially disastrous
    debt while our troops are fighting and dying in a war
    that the White
    House chose to begin.

    I cannot support the continuation of a policy that
    unwisely ties down
    150,000 American troops for the foreseeable future,
    with no end in sight.

    I cannot support a President who refuses to authorize
    the reasonable
    change in course that would bring traditional allies
    to our side in Iraq.

    I cannot support the politics of zeal and "might makes
    right" that
    created the new American arrogance and unilateralism
    which passes for
    foreign policy in this Administration.

    I cannot support this foolish manifestation of the
    dangerous and
    destabilizing doctrine of preemption that changes the
    image of America
    into that of a reckless bully.

    The emperor has no clothes. And our former allies
    around the world were
    the first to loudly observe it.

    I shall vote against this bill because I cannot
    support a policy based
    on prevarication. I cannot support doling out 87
    billion of our
    hard-earned tax dollars when I have so many doubts
    about the wisdom of
    its use.

    I began my remarks with a fairy tale. I shall close my remarks with a horror story, in the form of a quote from the book
    Nuremberg Diaries, written by G.M. Gilbert, in which the author interviews Hermann Goering.

    "We got around to the subject of war again and I said that, contrary to his attitude, I did not think that the common people
    are very thankful for leaders who bring them war and destruction.

    ". . . But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or
    a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship.

    "There is one difference," I pointed out. "In a democracy the people have some say in the matter through their elected
    representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare wars."

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no
    voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    --Guess Who
     
  2. Robert Espy
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    Robert Espy Guest

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    Interesting post. “Guess Who” is, of course, Hermann Goering. I guess the point of your lengthy post was to demonstrate that, contrary to what the Bush Administration concluded, was that there really was no immediate danger from the Saddam. I tend to agree without even asking for the definition of immediate. The risk was not immediate. It was something else; the threat was imminent, i.e. bound to be. Not only that, but tomorrow’s solution would be far more expensive in terms of lives and resources than would be today’s. I’m not saying that because I’m a Bush apologist, but simply as a statement of fact. So, perhaps Bush lied and did it for reasons to complicated to convey. Or perhaps he (along with congress) was fooled (by unnamed somebodies, foreign and domestic). Or perhaps his original reasoning will be proven correct. It’s all moot because the job needed doing for reasons practical and principled, even if left mostly unspoken.

    Nor do I think it will stop with Iraq – assuming things go ‘right’ in the next election and possibly the ones following that. In terms of strategy (or should I say ‘strategery’?), Tzu would be very proud.
     
  3. dijetlo
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    >> but tomorrow’s solution would be far more expensive in terms of lives and resources than would be today’s...In terms of strategy (or should I say ‘strategery’?), Tzu would be very proud.<<
    Sun Tzu wrote (among other things); "If you wait by the river long enough, you'll see the body of your enemy float by..."
    I read you post with some interest, while I tend to agree that Hussein was a threat, he was being effectively managed with sanctions and interdiction of his air space. The facts in Iraq would seem to bear this out (no significant rebuilding of his military since '91, a large scale dismantling of his WMD programs since the same time).
    The emphasis from this war came from the peanuts (PNAC=People for a New American Century) in the administration. If the administration plans to implement the peanut strategy, he needs to tell us and win our approval, GWB is the president, after all, not an Emporer.
     
  4. Robert Espy
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    He did that. Point? Forthcoming, I think...

    Was he? Many would disagree but, for the sake of this paragraph (alone!), I'll stipulate that he was. In so stipulating, let me ask you: What effect did these sanctions have on the Iraqi people; people that had zero say in Hussein's policies and actions? What impact did they have on Hussein personally? Suppose they [the sanctions] accomplished the 'official' US goal of 'regime change'? In so supposing, what type of regime would likely take it's place -- all things being 'managed' as they previously were?

    The absence of evidence (real WMD program not yet discovered) supports your assertion. I'll not address the logical fallacy of that assertion. I concede your point almost entirely. Meanwhile, what of the rest of the region? Did you read my post thinking I was speaking just of Iraq? Look at a pre-invasion map of the Middle East. Where does the US currently have troops/influence/strength in general? How did the Iraqi invasion change that map?


    Huh? I think the emphasis came from ultimate necessity. While haste makes waste, a stitch in time...

    All is as functioning as planned. He received our ‘approval’ through the congress, our direct democratic representatives. If ‘we’ (the congress) do not like the way he proceeded, there are very effective measures ‘we’ (the congress) can take.
     
  5. jimnyc
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    Excellent point, Robert.

    Welcome to the board. :)
     
  6. dijetlo
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    >>What effect did these sanctions have on the Iraqi people; people that had zero say in Hussein's policies and actions?<<
    I see your point however what have we gained. US forein policy shoud be fair and just, but it should also be to the benefit of the US. What is our $200B reconstruction of Iraq going to achieve that is worth that price ? Now add the cost in lives, approximately a thousand over the next three years if we can hold the number and effectiveness of these attack to their current level.
    >>Suppose they [the sanctions] accomplished the 'official' US goal of 'regime change'? <<
    Regime change was never the goal of the UN, the author of the sanctions we were "enforcing".
    >>In so supposing, what type of regime would likely take it's place<<
    A likely outcome for his passing is that upon his death thier military would have staged a coup, led by a cadre of CIA recruited Baathists (that is how Hussein came to power, but his initial allegences were to the KGB.)
    >>I'll not address the logical fallacy of that assertion<<
    Please, don't be shy, if I've commited an error in logic, I'd appreciate your pointing it out.
    >> Where does the US currently have troops/influence/strength in general? How did the Iraqi invasion change that map?<<
    They can count, they get the internet, they know we are tapped out as far as available troops, with nothing but nuclear storm clouds on the horizon (Iran, N. Korea).
    >> I think the emphasis came from ultimate necessity<<
    Are we speaking of the unpopular war in Iraq or the impeachment level war you laid out in your prior post. You realize, P. Bush is hobbled, constitutionaly, from invading any other countries, he has to get congressional approval to implement your plan, what do you think the chances of that are?
     
  7. Dawoud
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    Isnt it more like the Emporer has no flight suit.
    At least not of his own. And the reason for that was he went AWOL for a whole year the start of his deserting ( in time of war no less) co incided with the Texas Air guard started drug testing
     
  8. eric
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    eric Guest

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    You sure you meant Texas not Arkansas ?
     
  9. Dawoud
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    Dawoud Guest

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    It's well documented that George W. Bush never showed up for National Guard duty for a period of approximately one year, possibly more, in 1972-1973. Despite all the talk about "honor and dignity," Bush seems to have a problem meeting his commitments.

    http://www.awolbush.com/

    AWOL----absent for 30 days or less.
    Desertion-----absent for more than 30 days


    http://www.tompaine.com/feature.cfm/ID/3671

    Under Air National Guard rules at the time, guardsmen who missed duty could be reported to their Selective Service Board and inducted into the Army as draftees.
     

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